Recruiters tell you what you should do if you want to get a job.

A recruiter ranted on LinkedIn the other day about cover letters:

I just rejected 4 candidates in a row for their cover letter not matching the opportunity for which they are applying. One wanted a job as a store manager (we are a software company) another wanted a job on our manufacturing floor (again, software..). I can tell these people had good intentions – they may have changed the first line of their cover letter, but that’s not enough, clearly. Their entire cover letters were customized for other companies or job functions. I won’t bother with someone w poor attention to detail.

Other recruiters chimed in to support her, and several of us coaches suggested ways for clients to prepare targeted cover letters.

It is so easy to find out what recruiters want from applicants.  There are many LinkedIn groups with interactive conversations between HR people, recruiters, resume writers and career coaches.

I asked this question on one group’s discussion page:

Should you paste your resume into an e-mail or attach it as a Word document (or PDF)? A client just asked. I thought an attachment better, yet I thought I’d get input from other pros.

The overwhelming consensus was to attach it as a document to the email, so you don’t lose the formatting. Some people even urged PDFs so the formatting is preserved no matter what version of Word or word processing one uses.

These are just two examples of how you can find out what recruiters want. By listening to them, you can get positive attention instead of being relegated to the “no” pile.